Hamilton dedicates win to victims and families of MH370 disaster

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Lewis Hamilton has dedicated his Malaysian Grand Prix victory to the passengers and their relatives of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disaster, which disappeared on March 8th with 239 people on board travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Hamilton claimed his first win at the Sepang International Circuit on Sunday with a faultless performance that saw him finish 17 seconds ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg. The one-two for Mercedes was the team’s first since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix, whilst Hamilton – with pole position, fastest lap, the race win and having led every lap – claimed his first grand slam.

“Incredible, incredible,” said Hamilton on the podium after the race. “After such a difficult weekend, such a long winter, we’ve got a great crowd here today and for Petronas who work so hard with Mercedes to give us this win.

“I just feel so grateful, and particularly after such a tragedy three weeks ago.

“I’d really like to dedicate this to those people and their families.”

The Formula 1 community also honored those lost on flight MH370 before the race with one minute of silence before the Malaysian national anthem was sung. During such a dark period in Malaysia’s history, the sport has looked to bring some light to the nation this weekend.

Hamilton explained after the race how the hot and humid conditions made the win difficult, but he thanked the team for their hard work across the course of the weekend.

“Today you’re sweating already before you get into the car, so it’s really trying to keep your body as cool as possible and keep your focus,” he said. “The team were just spot on with all the pit stops and cooling and timing, and also the info I was getting, it was just spot on.”

“What a great car, what a great job from everyone.”

BREAKING: John Force taken to hospital after Phoenix eliminations crash

Photo courtesy NHRA
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16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force has been taken to a local hospital for evaluation and examination following a wicked crash with fellow Funny Car driver Johnnie Lindberg.

The crash occurred during the quarterfinals of Sunday’s final eliminations in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix.

Force was headed for a win when the engine on his Peak Chevrolet Camaro blew up just as it crossed the finish line, destroying the body. Lindberg, meanwhile, lost traction about one-third of the way down-track, but then got back into the gas to try and catch Force.

Force appeared to lose control of the body-less car and went across from the left lane he was in to the right-hand lane, where he hit the retaining wall in front of Lindberg.

Lindberg tried to avoid Force, but couldn’t. To make matters worse, the body on Lindberg’s car then came off and Force’s and Lindberg’s cars got tangled up in Lindberg’s parachute, sending both chassis’ into the left retaining wall.

Lindberg emerged from his Funny Car under his own power and was checked at the medical center before heading back to his pit.

Force, meanwhile, was helped out of his mangled wreck by the NHRA Safety Safari and was transported by ambulance to the hospital due to the severity of the impact.

Even though Force will be credited with the round win, he obviously will not be able to continue for the remainder of the eliminations.

To add insult to injury, NHRA officials charged Force with oiling down the racetrack, his third of the season in just the first two races. That will cost him 15 points in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings and a fine of $4,000.

Here are several posts from social media, including video of the incident from NHRA:

This is the second time Force has had an engine explode and the body blew off in the last two weeks. He also wrecked during the qualifying Feb. 9 for the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. Here’s the video of that wreck:

MORE: John Force taken to hospital as a precaution after Funny Car motor explodes.

Force’s daughter, Top Fuel driver Brittany Force, suffered a hard wreck at Pomona, but recovered in time to race this weekend in Phoenix.

We’ll update Force’s condition when it becomes available.

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